Poker is an age old game where folks gather at a table and wager who has the best hand from the cards they are dealt. There are many forms of poker to participate in and many of these games have evolved into high stakes cash games. Poker was widely popular in the early days of the Old West and continues that trend with many people hosting poker games in their own homes.
Draw poker is based on the dealer giving each player five cards to start. Each player will ante up before the first card is dealt, then look at their cards to see what they have. Each player will then have a turn to place a wager. The player then can select the best cards from the five they have to keep, discard the rest and receive the same number of cards as they discarded. Once the new cards are dealt, the players then wager in turn, and the option to raise one’s wager can occur during this time. Once the wagering is completed, the players will show their cards and the one with the best hand, wins.
The game of Texas Hold’em is played in three variations, limit, pot-limit, and no-limit. Each game style has the same rules and basic design, only the wagering aspect is what differentiates them. This is the explanation for no-limit hold’em. The wagering begins with two bets called the blind. The blind is listed as big blind and small blind. The player sitting the left of the deal wagers a predetermined amount, called the small blind. The person to their left then wagers the minimum wager set by the game. The dealer uses a standard 52-card deck, shuffles them thoroughly and deals two cards face down to each player beginning clockwise at the table. In the home game, the dealer can also deal himself in. After the cards are dealt, the person sitting to the left of the big blind begins the wagering. The first move from this player will either be a call (matching the minimum wager amount), raise (increasing the wager) or fold (throwing their cards away). Each player then follows suit until each player has wagered or folded. The dealer will now take one card from the top of the deck and place it in the discard pile. They will now deal three cards face up for all the players to see. These are known as the community cards. The next round of wagering begins when each player looks at their hold cards and pairs them with the three cards in the middle. Each player determines if the cards are worth moving to the next dealt card, as they are two more left. Once the second round of wagers are finished, the dealer will burn another card, turn one more up and the wagering repeats. If two players are left, the dealer will then burn the last card and deal the final card face up. The remaining players will then wager their respective amounts and then reveal their cards. The person who can make the best hand of five cards from the seven total cards dealt. The player with the best hand wins, unless all other players fold.
7-Card Stud Poker
The game of Seven card stud involves a minimum of two players, with each player being dealt a total of seven cards. Three of the cards dealt to each player face down, while the remaining four are face up. Each player must ante a wager into the middle of the pot. The game begins when the dealer deals each player two cards face down and one face up. The person with the lowest suited card (the club) wagers first, followed by the additional players. In this game, there are five rounds of wagering unless all players fold except one remaining player. Each player is then shown another card face up, with another round of wagering following suit. This continues until the seventh and final card is dealt to each player face down. A seventh card is dealt face down to every player. The players then look at their cards, with the one player showing the best hand from their four face cards showing beginning the wagering. All players who have not folded by this time will complete the wagering and the last player who wagered can show their hand first. Each player shows their hand one by one and the player with the best hand wins.
Players can also be creative with their games of poker at home. You can allow for a Joker to be a wild card to help make a pair, straight, flush or full house. You can also choose to play a game of progressive poker, which builds up the jackpots much faster. Progressive poker is also called Jacks or Better, Trips to Win, Progressive. Each player antes up into the pot while the dealer gives each player five cards each. The only way the hand can be played is if someone has at least a pair of jacks to open the wagering. If they do, the game continues, if not, everyone folds their cards, antes again and the cards are dealt over. The person who opened the wager but could not win the hand with a three of a kind must show they had a pair of jacks. Anyone caught lying is often asked to match the amount of the pot for a punishment. The only way the game can end is win the hand with a three of a kind (2-2-2, K-K-K, etc).
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